Sunday, September 30, 2012

Of Phrank Shaibu, Ejiofoh, and What Plagiarism Is and Isn’t

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

After I exposed the blatant plagiarism of my grammar column by a Phrank Shaibu last week, the culprit not only shamelessly denied it (on Facebook and other online platforms) even though he’d called and texted me countless times over the issue (Sunday Trust editor Theophilus Abba and my phone records can testify to this), he is also sponsoring a slew of people to launch attacks on me. (I even learned he has threatened to sue me for libel. The cheek of it!)

Most of the attacks are so asinine they are unworthy of my response. But I am compelled to respond to a particularly dishonest and ignorant article by a Silas Sakhos Ejiofoh who claims to find me guilty of plagiarism. When I first read his barely literate article, I laughed out so loud my ribs almost cracked. I laughed out even louder when I heard that Phrank says my university has queried me as a result of that illiterate write-up.

Silas rambled on about me being a Fulani jihadist (I’m neither a Fulani nor a jihadist) who hates Igbos (which is, of course, untrue) and who wanted to be “chief press secretary of his fellow Fulani Mohammadu Buhari, had Buhari won the last presidential election. Then, he would have conveniently become the minister of education and then a head of state.”

How do you respond to such pitiful inanity? Silas Ejiofoh is clearly one ignorant little kid with too much time on his hand—or an infantile adult consumed by rank hatred and malicious illiteracy. Well, it isn’t all the false and childish charges he leveled against me that I am responding to; it is the crying ignorance he displayed about what plagiarism is and isn’t. I want to use his ignorance as a teachable moment.

What plagiarism is
I have been teaching journalism in the United State for close to a decade now and was Managing Editor of a peer-reviewed US academic journal for four years. So I know a thing or two about plagiarism. I also routinely use Turnitin, (a plagiarism detection service to which almost all US universities are subscribed) to check for intentional and unintentional plagiarism in my students’ papers and in the articles of contributors to the journal I edited. I also run my own work by Turnitin. 

So let’s start with what constitutes plagiarism. The most obvious form of plagiarism is when you substantially copy another person’s exact words and ideas in whole or in part and pass them off as yours, such as what Phrank Shaibu habitually did (perhaps still does) to my grammar column on Facebook, and on ChannelsTV, Radio Kogi and KISS FM.

To give just one example, a member of Phrank Shaibu’s now deleted or super-secret MIND YOUR GRAMMAR Facebook group (why the heck did he delete or hide the group if he wasn’t guilty of plagiarism?) asked why he thought the expression “extreme end” was bad usage even when it enjoys social approval. 

And this was Phrank’s long, incoherent response, which is stolen from my previous article, as you will see shortly. It goes thus:

 “The fact that lexicographers have to come to terms with the semantic extension 'extreme end' does not make it very appropriate as you said. The phrase 'extreme end' is a redundant expression that became fossilised in the use of the language. The linguistic invention /error became codified in notable dictionaries because of its currency of usage in the native-speaker environment, since English is now for all practical purposes, the global language.  For evidence, see how several American idiosyncratic words that were never captured in any dictionary made it to the Oxford Dictionary last year. The word ‘unfriend,’ which means ‘to remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook,’ was Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2009. 

“Please, ask any of our younger ones [sic] to use it while writing an essay in any examination. He [sic] will [sic] be marked wrong! The teachers will [sic] consider it colloquial and informal...that's just by the way! [Note: This paragraph is composed entirely of Phrank’s original words, and you can see his struggles with tenses, subject-verb agreement, and punctuations].

“Other America-centric words that made it to the dictionary are sexting (‘the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone’),  intexticated (‘distracted because texting on a cell phone while driving a vehicle’), freemium (‘a  business model in which  some basic services are  provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to  pay for additional, premium features or content’), funemployed  (‘taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or  pursue other interests’),  birther (‘a conspiracy  theorist who challenges  President Obama’s birth  certificate’), teabagger (‘a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus  package, often through local demonstrations  known as “Tea Party” protests’), deleb (‘a dead celebrity’), tramp stamp  (‘a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a  woman’), etc.

“In fact, a word in the Nigerian linguistic repertoire that bears testament to our linguistic creativity is the word ‘co- wife’ or ‘co-wives,’ which we use to denote female partners in a polygamous marriage. I smiled proudly the other day when a recent BBC report used ‘co- wives’ in a story about South African President Jacob Zuma’s marriage to his third wife….

“As we internationalize the cultural and culinary practices that these words denote, through our ever- expanding diasporas, we also need to self- consciously export the creative linguistic products that accompany them... 

“I do hope you now understand my frustration as a linguistic activist and language teacher? [sic]. My believe [sic] at all times is that, as second language  learners, we must learn the  grammar of the English Language [sic] before making pretentions about the  mastery of the Language [sic]...I hope this helps! [Note: This paragraph is also original to Phrank Shaibu. You can see, too, that he can’t differentiate between “believe” and “belief,” doesn’t know when to use a question mark, and can’t tell when to use lower case or upper case letters, but he fancies himself as a “linguistic activist and language teacher”!]

Except where indicated, every single sentence from Phrank Shaibu’s response was stolen from my January 6, 2010 article in the People’s Daily and on my blog titled, “In Defense of Flashing and Other Nigerianisms.” It was republished on June 5, 2011 in my Sunday Trust “Politics of Grammar” column.
 The above screenshot was was plagiarized from my September 2, 2012 article titled "The English Nigerian Children Speak." 

(The screenshot above is plagiarized from my column in the Sunday Trust of July 31, 2011 titled, "More Q and A on Grammar." )
(The screenshot above is plagiarized from my article titled "Top Cutest and Strangest Nigerian English Idioms" first published on June 20, 2010 in the People's Daily and on my blog. It was republished in my Sunday Trust "Politics of Grammar" column on June 19, 2011. )

(The above screenshot is a continuation of the previous one. Here, we see unsuspecting people praising Phrank Shaibu for possessing stolen intellectual property. You can also see him insulting a commenter who asked for clarification on what he posted. Also see below screenshots of Phrank Shaibu the plagiarist being praised to high heavens by an unsuspecting fan on account of his unearned reputation as a grammarian. See his response in the third screen.)

What Plagiarism isn’t
Now, an ignoramus that goes by the name Silas Sakhos Ejiofoh wrote that I’d committed plagiarism in the past because some words I’d used in previous articles bear faint resemblances to some words he found on the Internet, even though the contexts in which those words were used are vastly different from mine. Going by his illiterate logic, every writer is a plagiarist since all writers draw from a pool of words that have been used and reused over time. In fact, when I Googled a couple of the phrases he used in his article, I found a bunch of them used by other writers before him.

He started his allegations with a patently made-up claim. He wrote: “… in his most recent attack on Abati and in support of his fellow Fulani, Buhari […] he writes, ‘an expression whose meaning cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up. …’ The words belong to somebody else. It appears in the same form ‘an expression whose meaning cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up’ in somebody else’s write up. See:

First, that quotation is the dictionary definition of an idiom. In my article titled, “Idioms, Mistranslations and Reuben Abati’s Double Standards,” to which he dishonestly refused to provide a link, I inserted quotation marks around the definition. The witless cretin didn’t even know it was a dictionary definition; he said “the words belong to somebody else.” 

Secondly, I have used that same definition in at least five previous articles, the earliest being my September 2007 article, where I wrote: “I guess Nigerians coined the expression "send-forth party" because "send-off" seems distant, even hostile…. But linguists would call this reasoning na├»ve, if not downright ignorant, because the definition of an idiom—which is what this phrase is— is that it is an expression ‘whose meaning cannot be inferred from the meanings of the individual words that make it up.’”

He also isolated random phrases from my April 7, 2011 article titled “Top 10 Words Nigerians Commonly Misspell,” to allege that I have plagiarized from other people. For instance, in the article, I wrote: “English is a notoriously aphonetic language.” And he found a November 1, 2010 article about “Big Foot” where a linguist said, in response to a question in a news interview: “since English is notoriously non-phonetic and is subject to widely-varied local dialects….” So he concluded that I plagiarized from the story. 

First, I swear to God and my honor (I know that’s unnecessary) that I’d never seen that story—and most of the other links he cited to malign me— until I read his drivel. You can’t plagiarize what you haven’t read. 

Second, the two sentences are completely unrelated, except for the appearance of the word “notoriously”—and maybe “aphonetic” and “non-phonetic,” which are basic conceptual vocabularies in English grammar. And as anyone familiar with my writing will tell you, “notoriously” is a favorite adverb/intensifier of mine. A quick search on my blog shows that the word appeared nearly 30 times in my previous articles.

 Third, in a previous April 29, 2010 article titled, “Semantic Change and the Politics of English Pronunciation.”, that is, six months before the story my accuser cited, I had used similar phraseology. So should I say the story plagiarized me since mine preceded it by six months?

In another bizarre example, someone wrote in a March 2009 thesis, which I’d never read until I followed Silas’ link: “text messaging is a largely unexplored and highly distinctive language.” And I wrote the following in the same April 7, 2011 article referenced above: “With the advent of textese (i.e., the distinctive language and spelling conventions of cellphone text messages)…” The idiot said I plagiarized the first sentence.

In linguistics, the suffix “ese” (such as corporatese, bureaucratese, officialese, legalese, journalese, academese, etc.) is often used to indicate the distinctive use of language peculiar to particular professions or undertakings. That’s why in an April 8, 2008 article titled “Of Metaphors and Puns in Nigerian English,” I defined journalese as “the distinctive stylistic peculiarities of newspaper writing.” And in a September 8, 2007 article titled “Divided by a Common Language: Comparing Nigerian, American and British English,” I defined it as “English distinctive to journalistic writing.” So my definition of textese follows a pattern dating back to 2007, two years before the article the ignoramus quoted.

In another example in the same April 7, 2011 article, I wrote:  it needs to be pointed out that native speakers of the English language are just as awful with spelling as the rest of us non-native speakers of the language—if not more so. ” And someone else wrote: “Why are native English speakers so bad at spelling their own language?” Silas said I plagiarized the second sentence. You be the judge.

This is true of all the instances he cited of my alleged plagiarism: he copied a bunch of phrases from my write-ups, pasted them on Google, and when he found one or two similarities in wording between my article and any random, unrelated article (even when, in some cases, my articles were published months, sometimes years, before the articles I was supposed to have plagiarized) he convinced his pea-sized brain that he “caught” this supercilious grammar Nazi plagiarizing.

Teachable Moment for Silas and his sponsors
So, what am I getting at? Plagiarism occurs only when there is evidence of wholesale lifting of the exact order of another person’s words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs such as the case of Phrank Shaibu who passed off my entire articles as his. (See more evidence below). But accidental similarities in verbiage between two unrelated ideas don’t constitute plagiarism. 
( The above screenshot was plagiarized from my April 22, 2012 article titled, "Q and A on Idioms, Nigerian Expressions, and Punctuations.")

 (The above screenshot was plagiarized my September 2007 article titled, "Divided by a Common Language: A Comparison of Nigerian, American and British English"; Go to the 62nd paragraph of the subsection titled "Usage Errors Normalized Over Time.")

Similarly, using fixed expressions from the pool of disciplinary and cultural linguistic repertoire isn’t plagiarism. For instance, in the (American) academe, researchers have a vast multitude of stereotyped expressions like, “my research explores the intersection between,” “let’s problematize/complexify,” “the theoretical framework that undergirds/underpins...,” etc. Those phrases are part of the shared linguistic heritage of (US) academe. Call them academese, if you like. No one has copyright over them.

 Of course, if someone constructs an entire sentence similar to some else’s even when those shared phrases are included in them, that would qualify as plagiarism. To draw another example from my April 07, 2011 article again, I wrote that someone’s suggestion that we accept popular misspellings as mere variants is "a recipe for orthographic anarchy.” 

Silas found an article where someone was also characterized as an “orthographic anarchist.” So he said I plagiarized “orthographic anarchy” from that person's use of “orthographic anarchist” to describe someone. If he was even half-way intelligent, he would have realized that “orthographic anarchy” is a concept in linguistics. If you search the phrase on Google, you will find over 2000 results. Is everybody plagiarizing everybody then?

As I said earlier, conceptual vocabularies can’t be plagiarized if they are used appropriately. So are many expressions that belong in what literary theorists call the popular imagination—idioms, proverbs, fixed phrases, fossilized turns of phrase, etc. For instance, in 2008, former US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said, “We see America as the greatest force for good in this world.” On September 25 this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said, “I believe that America has been one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever known.”  

 Did Romney plagiarize Palin because the phrase “America is a force for good” is present in his speech? No. The expression is a collective linguistic inheritance of American conservatives. Google it and you will find thousands of hits dating back to the dim and distant past.

As the US Supreme Court ruled years ago, ideas and facts are not copyrightable; only their presentation is. Besides, as Daniel M. Feeney and Bradley L. Cohn point out in their article titled, "You Wrote It, But Who Owns It? An Overview of Copyright Law, "copyright law recognizes what is called a de minimis defense. This defense permits, in effect, copying material that is quantitatively and qualitatively insignificant in relation to the copied work as a whole." This is different from Phrank Shaibu who, as you saw in the screenshots, copied everything I'd written, which he has been presenting as his on several platforms.  

Of course, copyright and plagiarism are different but they are similar in many respects because they are both concerned with protecting the presentation of authors' original thoughts and ideas.

I would never have responded to Silas Ejiofoh's laughable ignorance had the compulsively plagiarizing and pathologically lying Phrank Shaibu not caused his minions to push it to divert attention from his intellectual theft—and to even lie that my university is probing me because of it. 

As a public commentator and newspaper columnist who is sometimes a thorn in the flesh of fraudsters, corrupt government officials, and insensitive bureaucrats, I expect to attract vicious attacks on my person. But no one has the right to plagiarize my hard work—or impugn my intellectual and moral integrity.

Related Article: 
Phrank Shaibu: A Shameless, Serial Plagiarist of My Grammar Column

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What’s a “Mississippi Street” Doing in Abuja?

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

I lived in Abuja for many years before relocating to the United States, but it was only during my last summer vacation in Nigeria that it struck me that a major street in the highbrow Maitama District of Abuja is named after Mississippi, the southern US state that became globally notorious for its murderous negrophobia in the 1950s and the 1960s.

Although Mississippi has always been steeped in deep-seated anti-black racism from almost its founding (it was the second state to secede from the United States in the 1860s on account of slavery) it was the brutal, cold-blooded murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 by two negrophobic white brutes that first brought the plight of black people in that state to the forefront of global consciousness. Till’s offense was that he jokingly made a pass at a white woman! The murderers were caught but an all-white jury found them not guilty.

In the same 1955, two African American activists, identified as Lamar Smith and Reverend George Lee, were cruelly slaughtered by white racists because they campaigned to get black people the right to vote.
And in 1964, Mississippi made headlines again when one African-American activist and two white American campaigners of civil rights for black Americans were murdered because they dared to investigate the willful burning of a black church. The murderers were never brought to justice.

The latest was the June 26, 2011 murder of a 49-year-old African-American man by two white teens who first said "Let's go f**k with some niggers" and “White Power” before running over the man with a truck. The man didn’t do anything to them. They just randomly picked on him and murdered him for fun. After the man was crushed to death, one of the murderers bragged: "I ran that nigger over!" Unfortunately for them, all this was captured on security cameras.

Because of these and many more anti-black racist incidents too numerous to mention here, Mississippi has a terrible reputation as the graveyard for black people in America. It is also, by almost every index, America’s most backward state. It is America’s least educated, most racist, most obese, etc. state. As you can imagine, it’s the butt of jokes and the object of snide remarks here.

I recall that years ago when I told one of my liberal white American friends that I wanted to apply to a Mississippi university for my Ph.D., he looked me straight in the face and said, “Are you out of your mind? Mississippi is America’s most racist state and, as a foreign-born black man, that place would be hell for you, I tell ya.”

I have read about Mississippi since my undergraduate days in Nigeria and always thought it was an inhospitable place for a black person, but I didn’t believe my friend. I told him he was being overdramatic and that he was stereotyping an entire state on account of the misdeeds of a few people. As a media scholar and one who embodies identities that are often the object of vicious attacks and inaccurate stereotypes, I am always leery of any blanket condemnation of a people.

When in May this year a friend of mine invited me and my daughter to attend her sister’s graduation at the Mississippi State University, I accepted her invitation with an open mind. But I couldn’t help thinking that I was going to some horrible place.

I had travelled through Mississippi before, but I had never visited it for an extended period. Now I would have an opportunity to relate with some Mississippians outside the mediation of a predominantly northern media formation, snotty white liberals, and hypersensitive American blacks—or so I thought.

Unfortunately, my experiences in Starkville, Mississippi, (the city where Mississippi State University is located) worked to give comfort to the stereotype of a racist, negrophobic, unkind Mississippi. First, everyone in the town, especially African Americans, appeared to be depressed. The ambience of the city itself inspired languor and sadness. (That was the effect that Jackson, Mississippi’s capital city, had on me when I drove through it in 2005). And I didn’t see blacks and whites mixing as freely as I see them do in the places I’ve lived and visited here.

I had my first taste of “Mississippian racism” when an elderly white woman that I and another Nigerian met in the hotel elevator asked us if we were janitors, that is, people employed to clean the building. She had no reason to ask us that. She probably just wanted to denigrate us. Or perhaps she didn’t think, as black people, we deserved to lodge in a hotel as expensive as the hotel we were in. But I didn’t get angry.

 “No, ma’am, we are not janitors,” I said. “We are guests.” She felt ashamed and started apologizing profusely. She said she mistook us for janitors because we were holding keys--car keys! I didn’t know what to make of that. But I didn’t judge the whole people of the city on account of one old lady.

Then when we drove to the venue of the graduation ceremony, we discovered that a campus traffic cop stood by the closest entrance to the hall where the graduation was taking place. He allowed some vehicles to pass through the entrance and disallowed others. It turned out that every car he disallowed had black drivers and passengers in them. He never disallowed any white driver who asked to go through the entrance. When I told my friend, she stopped to observe and realized that my observation was accurate. She was so enraged that she wanted to confront the man. I talked her out of it.

In sum, my experience in Starkville wasn’t pleasant. University towns are often some of the most liberal and welcoming towns in America. So I said to myself: if race relation is this strained in a college town, how would it be in the rural areas that are notorious for xenophobia? Well, I am still careful not to judge an entire state on account of my experience in one city. In any case, some of the nicest people I have met here trace their origins to Mississippi.

However, when I went to Nigeria this summer and discovered that one of the most conspicuous streets in Abuja is named after Mississippi, I couldn’t help wondering: “why Mississippi street in Abuja”? I became even more curious when I discovered that no other street in Abuja is named after an American state. What is special about Mississippi?

Have we run out of names to give streets in Abuja? Even if we have, what connection does Mississippi, a state that has a history and present of oppressing black people, have with Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth? Somebody, help me!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Phrank Shaibu: A Shameless, Serial Plagiarist of My Grammar Column

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

I made a startling discovery last week about a certain Phrank Shaibu ( a former Special Adviser on Public Communication and Strategy to former Kogi State governor Ibrahim Idris and who, according to his Facebook profile, is “currently an Adviser to the FCT Minister” and a “Consultant to Delta Governor on Public Communication and Strategy”) who has been willfully and barefacedly plagiarizing my grammar column for months on end on Facebook, ChannelsTV, and Radio Kogi.

Phrank Shaibu created a closed, invitation-only, 1,000-plus-member Facebook group called “Mind Your Grammar” where he impresses impressionable and unsuspecting young people by posting my grammar column week in week out and passing it off as his. During my brief membership of the group (I will tell you how that happened shortly), I discovered that he copied entire passages—sometimes whole articles— word for word from my grammar column and pasted on the front page of the group.   

He got lavish praises from members of the group, some of whom addressed him as a "professor of English." I have been reliably told that his periodic “Mind Your Grammar” programs on ChannelsTV and on Radio Kogi also habitually plagiarize my column.
Phrank Shaibu
So how did I discover this brazenly criminal rape of my intellectual property by a nitwitted charlatan who, going by his written and oral communication skills, has no capacity to even string together a sentence in English that isn’t a rib-tickling travesty of the language? (Phrank reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s epigram about how “everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.”)

Well, it started like this: Several months ago, someone “inboxed” me a grammar question on Facebook. I gave him a quick answer and promised to expand on it in a couple of days. But he came back the following day seeking more clarification. I obliged him.
Phrank Shaibu and former Kogi State governor Ibrahim Idris
Then something bizarre happened. My questioner started to argue with me using the exact words of an article I’d written years back. Of course, I recognized my style and diction in “his” argument. So I wrote: “Are you for real? You’re plagiarizing my previous article to argue with me? I thought you were a serious person. I regret ever responding to your queries.”

It turned out, however, that he was a member of Phrank Shuaibu’s fraudulent “Mind Your Grammar” Facebook group. He’d asked Phrank the same question, and Phrank lived up to his name and “pranked” him by lifting passages from my previous article to answer his question and to dispute the accuracy of the response I’d given him.
Phrank Shaibu and Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan
The questioner gave me the link to the Facebook group from where he excerpted the response. I followed the link and sent a request to be a member of the group. This was several months ago. My request was never granted. Of course, no thief who has illegally seized a house would knowingly and willingly grant entry to the legitimate owner of the house; that could signal the end of his criminal exploits.

However, by a quirk of circumstance, on September 13, I got an email notification from Facebook that said “Abdul Mahmud approved your request to join the group MIND YOUR GRAMMAR.” It turned out that Phrank Shaibu appointed a Comrade Abdul Mahmud as an administrator of his duplicitous group without his consent. Comrade Mahmud is a lawyer, human rights activist, former president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), and former University of Jos student whom Phrank Shuaib knew because he is also an alumnus of the University of Jos.

Comrade Mahmud and I have never met physically, but we have many mutual friends and have interacted on Facebook a number of times. He said when he saw my request pending on the group’s page, he decided to approve it. 

Once I became a member of the group, I voraciously read the postings on the group’s page and found that EVERY SINGLE contribution that Phrank Shaibu made to the group was plagiarized from my grammar column. His responses to questions from group members were lifted from my articles, sometimes even when the responses were irrelevant to the questions asked. And he was praised to high heavens by his admirers, most of whom were young girls.
Phrank Shaibu and former Osun State governor Olagunsote Oyinlola

Since it was Mahmud who approved my membership to the group, I first sent him a message asking if he was aware of the serial theft of my intellectual property by a despicably nescient mountebank who goes by the name Phrank Shaibu. He assured me that he had no association with the group other than that he had just been made an administrator of the group without his consent. So I sent a message to Phrank Shaibu warning him to cease and desist from his intellectual theft of my grammar column or risk being sued. He ignored my message.

Then I posted on the front page of the group that Phrank Shaibu is a nakedly transparent fraudster whose entire contributions to the group were bald-faced thefts from my Sunday Trust grammar column. There was a whiff of incredulity in a few of the comments that followed my post. “Are you real?” one young girl commented. “Seriously?” another one wrote.

The next thing Phrank did was to kick me out of the group. He also blocked me on Facebook, although we were never Facebook friends in the first place. I had no earthly clue that a vile, contemptible, Janus-faced, disreputably scheming character by the quirky name of Phrank Shaibu existed until September 13. 

I brought this issue to the attention of my over 4,000 friends on Facebook and got over a hundred comments and over 70 “likes.” Similarly, Comrade Mahmud, whom Phrank Shuaibu unfriended and blocked on Facebook because he called his attention to my complaints, posted this on his wall:

 “If you're my Facebook friend and PHRANK SHAIBU is our mutual friend, please rethink the friendship. PHRANK SHAIBU is a serial plagiarist, a master crook. Phrank Shaibu, as I gathered a few hours ago, is an Igala chap from Kogi State and a former Media Campaigner for the failed Kogi State governorship aspirant, [Jibrin Isah] Echocho. 

“Phrank Shaibu is accused of lifting the works of Professor Farooq Kperogi and posting same inside a closed group, 'Mind Your Grammar', that he (Shaibu) made me its administrator of without my knowledge and permission. Phrank Shaibu has refused to respond to the charges and has now gone ahead to unfriend me, blocked the limited access I had to the Facebook group when Professor Farooq found his way in…. There is a very serious issue of intellectual theft here… on Facebook, our place of communal meetings. Stop Phrank Shaibu in his tracks. Please share!!!!!!”

 My status update and Mahmud’s wall post must have conspired to scare the pants off the crook because he shut down the “Mind Your Grammar” group shortly after. But if he shut it down because he wanted to destroy my evidence, he miscalculated. I took snap shots of the plagiarized materials before coming out in the open. I intend to use this evidence to sue him.

Phrank called me a week ago and admitted to his plagiarism, apologized profusely (I recorded all his phone conversations with me, which I will tender in court), promised to pay me compensatory damages, and to issue a public apology for his infractions. But he shamelessly reneged on all his promises. Instead, he kept playing childish pranks on me. The man, certainly, is not contrite.

But the bigger worry in all of this is that this wretched, dishonest, compulsively mendacious character was a media adviser to a state governor, and is currently the media adviser to a serving minister and a serving governor! I learned from his Facebook pictures that he also once won an award as “Media Spokesman of the Year 2009” and that, in fact, the Kogi State government took out newspaper pages to advertise messages of “congratulations to a worthy son”!
Newspaper ad by the Kogi State government congratulating Phrank Shaibu on his award

What kind of society puts people like that in positions of responsibility? Worse, what kind of society celebrates slimy little liars like that?

I’ve consulted with my lawyers and will sue the butt off this audaciously atrocious intellectual thief. I will also sue Channels TV and Radio Kogi for providing him the platforms to plagiarize my intellectual property. This plague of intentional plagiarism in Nigeria has to stop!

Related Article: 
For screenshots of Phrank Shaibu's plagiarism, click this link: Of Phrank Shaibu, Ejiofoh, and What Plagiarism Is and Isn’t